Bella and I have done pretty casual homeschooling this year. I don’t think there was any way around it with everything going on.
I really wanted to focus on her learning how to use her imagination, be creative in her play, interact with peers, small and large motor skills, and a love of being outside, reading, and art.
She also knows (most of) her ABC’s and numbers 1-10, along with nursery rhymes and common preschool songs.
I start to think about her 4th year and beyond, and it tends to lead to the same two questions over and over:
- Do I want/need more structure with her as time goes on?
- Or do we want to lean into a more unschooled method?
I go back and forth on this. As a teacher, unschooling both terrifies and intrigues me. It’s not that I don’t think it’s not a viable way to teach, but I wonder about my struggle with self motivation and being able to follow through with a less rigid schedule or plan for each day. Could I really feel that sense of purpose and accomplishment without a curriculum? Would I be able to even structure an unschooled day?
Then there is the side of me that simply wants to buy a full on, totally done curriculum for each grade (not all at once) and see the progress, know the general end result that each day is getting to. The problem with this is knowing how I really want to do things differently than a regular classroom, and a curriculum might bring out the side of me that simply can’t unless all the “work” is done.
My ideal is to marry the two somehow. To have a lot of structure for things like handwriting, learning how to read, math, etc. Then for science, history, art, and so on – I’d love to really be more “creative” there. So far I’m not really able to find anyone who does a style like this. Most homeschooling bloggers I read are pretty much one way or the other. I’m torn between wanting to do the ideal and not knowing if that will end up being so much work I find myself overwhelmed trying to keep up with it all.
Of course Bella is 3 1/2, so it’s not like I need to decide this now. It still is on my mind though as I see more and more kids near her age head off to school, and know that soon her days will need a little more to them than we do now.
If you homeschool or plan to, what are your ideals? How do you picture your days and lessons throughout the year? Do you know any sites or bloggers that combine unschooling methods along with more structured ways for the basics?